If the Walls Could Talk

Hello dear readers,

I had a plan. After taking you on blog tours of Giethoorn, Hattem and Vries, I was really going to focus on knitting again. On yarns, UFOs and knitting projects in progress, on techniques and traditions. I had it all mapped out, at least for the coming month or so. But…

… I decided to postpone my plans for a bit. Writing about De Potterij in Zutphen last week, I thought how I’d love to show you a little more of that beautiful walled city.

So, before starting on a yarn-filled autumn, here’s one last virtual summer outing.

Just like Hattem, Zutphen is a Hanseatic city on the river IJssel. Only it is far larger, with interesting museums, impressive churches and an amazing 16th Century reading room filled with chained books. It isn’t any of those I’m focusing on today, though. It’s the walls.

A poem on one of the walls set me thinking.

It isn’t easy to translate, but here is a try.

City in time

In old walls
from a time gone by and
a language no longer spoken
a lot still lingers on

ghosts of distant days
the scent of spent lives
stored by wind
in old walls

Henk Gombert

Yes, the old walls have seen a lot. If only they could talk.

Take the rusty red walls of a building called De Biervoerder, next door to last week’s pottery.

If these walls could talk, they would tell us about wealthy beer merchant Herman Sackers and his wife Fyken, who built the house in 1629, not just to live in, but also as a warehouse and an inn.

They would tell us how it was later used to store grain, converted into a bakery, became a grocery store, and still later an antiques and jewellery shop. They would also tell us that the current occupants still see grain kernels trickling down through cracks between the floor boards hundreds of years later.

Many walls in Zutphen are softened and partly hidden by greenery, often in the shape of narrow pavement gardens.

Shrubs, climbers and flowering plants planted straight into the soil, in pots…

… or in baskets.

In some places the greenery is more substantial. Just outside the old walls on the south side of the inner city, there’s an orchard.

And in the orchard is one of the best places to take a break. Here teas with wise mottoes are served, and the strangest cold brew coffees, stuffed with fruit and herbs.

If these walls could talk, what will they say about 2020? Will it be something like, ‘That was a strange spring. Unnaturally quiet, with people staying inside their homes. But from the summer onwards everything seemed more or less back to normal.’ Or something like, ‘Yes, 2020 was a strange year compared to the years before it, but not much different from 2021’?

There was a section of the wall that whispered, ‘Knit me, knit me!’

But I bet it whispers different things to different people. I imagine it whispering to others, ‘So, you love old walls, do you? Then you must go traveling. Visit Hadrian’s wall and the Great Wall of China!’

If the walls could talk, I wonder what those along this narrow alleyway would tell us.

There is a tiny little door halfway on the left at street level. What was it used for? Why would someone have lavished so much money and attention on it?

Some of Zutphen’s walls whisper, some keep their secrets, and some speak in poetry. To close off today’s post, here is another wall poem.

Translated, it says

Art

the here is the now
make room to rest and contemplate
the now is the here, breathe deep
(the later will wait)

Eke Mannink

Frog Orchestra

Hello dear readers!

For today’s instalment of my series of armchair trips, I’m taking you to the lovely old town of Hattem. I’ll also show you some of my knitting, or rather frogging, and there’s a little bit of crochet too.

Please fasten your seatbelts. This time we’re travelling by car, as Hattem is too far to cycle from here. Well, it can be done (it’s a 100-kilometre round trip), but we are taking the lazy option.

Actually Hattem isn’t a town, but a city – a Hanseatic city.  Situated strategically on the river IJssel, it was an important commercial centre in past centuries. There is evidence of past wealth everywhere around.

Approaching the centre from the car park along the river, we soon come to the church.

Some of the houses surrounding the church have lovely pavement gardens, like this one:

Maybe we’ll visit some of the museums another time. Today we’re just strolling through Hattem enjoying the sights.

Looking at the signs in the photo below, with the sign in the red circle saying

8 m

it may seem as if Hattem is extra careful, advising a safe distance of 8 metres instead of the usual 1.5…

… but it must mean something else, because I took these pictures last year, in the good old days when nobody had even heard of social distancing.

Walking on along the city walls (mind your head at the end)…

… we come to the moat on the other side. And what do we see in a secluded spot, away from all the tourist hustle and bustle? A complete frog orchestra! Here is the conductor…

… directing a twenty-something-frog-strong orchestra floating on water lily leaves.

Can you hear them?

If you’re a knitter, you are probably familiar with the term frogging. It baffled me for a long time, until I read a book that explained that frogging a piece of knitting means that you rip it. Saying it out loud, ‘Rip-it, rip-it’, I finally got it.

Some people seem to have an entire frog pond, filled with items that need frogging. I don’t. I do hear the frogs croaking frequently, but I usually heed them straightaway. It is only rarely that I ignore them. But ignore them I did with the cardigan below – I ignored them for a long, long time.

I patiently knit on and on, because I thought it would be a useful cardigan in this neutral colour. It wasn’t until I had finished all the knitting, and only needed to sew in the sleeves and sew on the pockets that I lost my drive and it ended up as a UFO (UnFinished Object). Why?

The pattern was fine and the yarn was fine. So what was wrong? Isn’t a useful cardigan a good thing? Well, this I what I learnt from this cardigan: for me, a knitting project first of all needs to ‘spark joy’ (to speak with Marie Kondo). If it doesn’t, useful equals boring and can only end in frogging.

This cardigan didn’t spark any joy at all. So after giving it a rest, I ripped the knitting out. I wound the yarn onto skeins, washed it and then wound it onto balls.

Normally, I don’t enjoy frogging and try to get it over with as quickly as possible. But taking my time, using lovely lavender scented woolwash and reframing the entire process as ‘repurposing’ helped.

Immediately thinking of something else to do with the yarn also helped. I can see several of these useful and joy-sparking manly cap-and-muffler sets in the future for the frogged/repurposed yarn.

This is growing into quite a long blog post again. Sorry about that, but I really need to show you something else. So, let’s take a break in one of the outdoor cafés in the market square before we go on.

Okay, ready for the last lap?

I would have liked to show you the local yarn shop, but forgot to take pictures. I did take pictures of one of their initiatives, though – the cheerful crochet mandalas that can be seen high up above the streets. Did you spot them while you were drinking your coffee or tea?

Here are some more.

And here are three against a white background, so that you can see how they were made. They are not all different, but there are many variations. They all use one colour each, which prevents them from becoming too gaudy.

Well, that brings us to the end of today’s virtual trip. Thank you for coming along and I hope to see you again next week!

A Tiny Yarn Shop

Hello! It’s good to see you here again. For this week’s summer outing, I’m taking you to Vries, another small village in our part of the country. Vries isn’t as picturesque as last week’s destination Giethoorn, and I doubt if it sees many tourists, but it does have some attractive spots.

Generally, the church from the middle of the 12th century is considered the village’s main attraction. Granted, it is beautiful. Surrounded by trees, it wasn’t easy to photograph, but here is a view from the side:

The church is dedicated to Saint Boniface and has doors in a particularly attractive shade of red.

But to me, Vries’ biggest attraction is the smallest yarn shop I know. And when I say small, I mean tiny. It is called Wol zo Eerlijk (Wool so Fair) and is so small that it can only welcome one customer at a time with the 1.5 meter distance rule in place. This little gem is tucked away in a small corner between two other buildings.

Wol zo Eerlijk specializes in sustainable and fair-trade yarns, produced in animal-friendly ways and without child labour.

This may conjure up images of drab and scratchy yarns, but nothing is further from the truth. There are some neutrals, too, of course. But all in all, the first impression is a very colourful one. Let’s go inside to take a look.

Although the selection of yarns is fairly limited (it is a tiny shop, after all) there is a good range of materials, from cotton and linen to different kinds of wool and even yak.

To start with, here is Erika Knight’s ‘Studio Linen’ in some of the loveliest shades imaginable.

What makes this yarn sustainable is that 85% of it is recycled linen. Pure new linen makes up the remaining 15%.

The yarn in the photo below is mYak ‘Baby Yak Lace’. This is a heavy lace-weight yarn spun entirely from baby yak hair, also known as yak down, from Tibet. Soooo soft.

In my mind’s eye I saw those poor little baby yaks shivering and bleating after being shorn, but fortunately that isn’t how it works and there is no need to feel sorry for them. They are not shorn – the down is collected by combing. In fineness and softness this yak down is similar to cashmere.

Selling their yak fibres, enables the nomad families of the Tibetan plateau to continue herding their animals as they’ve done for centuries, in a way that keeps the fragile ecosystem intact. A further sustainable aspect is that the yak down is not bleached or decoloured, and that shows in the skeins. The overdyed natural colours give beautiful, slightly heathered shades.

And here is another yarn in some lovely colours – Rosários 4 ‘Belmonte’.

‘Belmonte’ is an organic wool-and-cotton blend in a dk-weight. Spun in Portugal, this yarn is GOTS certified, which means that it meets the toughest international standards for organic textiles.

Wol zo Eerlijk provides swatches of all the yarns in their shop.

I think this is a wonderful idea. It gives a much better impression of what the knitting will look like than just seeing a yarn in the skein or ball.

And here is one final yarn – ‘Pip Colourwork’, British wool spun and dyed in Yorkshire. Beautiful vibrant as well as more subtle colours in 25 gram balls. Ideal for fair-isle or similar stranded colourwork, but I wouldn’t mind knitting an entire cardigan in duck-egg Bramley Baths, turquoise Lotherton or raspberry Rose window.

I didn’t photograph each and every yarn at Wol zo Eerlijk. Please visit their website (in Dutch and English) for more information and yarns. (As always: I’m not sponsored in any way – I just love looking at, knitting with and talking about yarn. Besides, I think small, lovingly curated shops like this one deserve all the support they can get).

Well, shopping is thirsty work. High time for some refreshments. Take care, and see you next week!

Crochet Curtains in Giethoorn

Hello!

Are you ready for our first summer outing? Do your bicycle tires have enough air? Did you apply sunscreen and put on your sunglasses? Okay, let’s go!

Today, we’re cycling to Giethoorn, one of our regional tourist hot spots. In case you have never heard of it – Giethoorn is a village of about 2,500 souls in a low-lying wetland area in the Netherlands. It is situated on a man-made shallow lake…

… and the old part of the village is incredibly picturesque, with its lovely thatched houses, narrow canals and high bridges. (Many houses can only be reached via these bridges or by boat.)

Giethoorn has a special place in my heart. For several years our daughter had a summer job in one of the souvenir shops. And in previous years, when things got a little too quiet at home, I sometimes hopped on my bicycle to spend some time in Giethoorn. Normally, it is teeming with tourists from all over the world driving whisper boats,

taking guided tours in a canal boat, or strolling along the narrow paths.

I took the pictures you see here last year. This year it has obviously been very different, with the canals looking more like this:

For many people depending on tourism for their incomes it has been a tough, tough time. Now, with most of the Covid measures lifted in the Netherlands, they are breathing a tentative sigh of relief. Tourists are welcome again, although in much smaller numbers than before because of the restrictions that still are in place.

But, hey, we didn’t come here to discuss the local economy. I took you to Giethoorn for some respite from all those kind of worries. And especially to take a look at the lovely crochet curtains that grace many windows. I know that many of you are knitters, but I hope that you are interested in crochet, too.

I’m not sure if I should call them curtains, as most of them are just fairly narrow strips of crochet (like the one to the left of the lamppost above). Perhaps valances is a better word.

These crochet curtains/valances were all the rage in the 1970s and 1980s, at least in the Netherlands. I have no idea about other countries. But now, outside Giethoorn, I very rarely see them anymore.

The ones in Giethoorn are all of white or unbleached cotton. As a child, I had some in my bedroom that were similar to the ones in the house below, but mine were bright green, which made the flowers in them look like Granny Smith’s apples.

Here is a close-up of the ones in the window over the front door:

Most of these curtains are crocheted across, back and forth in narrow rows, with the straight edge at the top of the window on one side, and increasing and decreasing to the points on the other. This way, they can easily be made to fit the width of the window.

And most of them use a technique called ‘filet crochet’, sometimes in combination with other techniques. Filet crochet consists of a kind of grid made up of chain stitches and what is known in the US as double and in the UK as treble crochet stitches. Some of the squares are left open and others are filled with double/treble crochet to make symmetrical shapes, flowers or even intricate pictures.

The ones above are 100% filet crochet, whereas the house below has simple narrow ones…

…which look like filet crochet…

…but where the spaces inside the diamonds are filled in with a kind of crosses in a combination of chain stitches, double/treble crochet and single (US) or double (UK) crochet. (An international standard for these terms would make life a lot easier.)

The house below has wider and more intricate ones.

Here they are in close-up:

Upside-down hearts in filet crochet, with stars in chain stitch around a centre of stitches that I can’t make out. At the top they have the same sort of crosses as the simple narrow valance above.

And I’ve kept the best ones till last – four genuine master pieces. Here are the first two:

Two figures wearing beautifully detailed costumes, holding on to what looks like bean poles.

Unlike the ones so far, these panels were not worked from side to side, but from the bottom to the top. They are a great example of true filet crochet, except for the border at bottom and sides, which was added as a final touch.

And here are two more beauties – the last ones:

I can see lots of birds. The ones on the hands of the figure on the left look like falcons. At first I thought he had long streamers on his sleeves, but they also seem to be hanging from his hands, which is strange. Perhaps it is an open garden gate he’s standing in front of. Who knows?  On the right I see birds that look like geese and ducks. And what is she holding in her hands? Bunches of grapes?

Grapes? That’s interesting. I can place geese and ducks in these surroundings. But falcons and grapes in Giethoorn? Not really. And taking a closer look at the costumes also makes me wonder. All in all it looks as if the patterns for these panels may have come from Germany, or perhaps from France.

Describing Giethoorn’s crochet curtains here has made me look at them in much more detail than I’d done before – I really enjoyed that. I hope you’ve enjoyed the trip, too. Thank you for cycling along and I hope you’ll join me again on next week’s outing!

Reed

Hello, and an extra warm welcome today! I sincerely hope that you are in good health and able to cope with life’s stresses in this strange and scary world we suddenly find ourselves in. And I also hope that you get all the support you need if you have health problems or are struggling with this new reality in any way.

I’ve been wondering what to do, here on my blog. I had planned to write about the area where I found the inspiration for a new knitting design, but it all felt rather futile under the circumstances. I could write about how the pandemic impacts everyday life here, in the Netherlands, instead. But how would that help?

After giving it some more thought, I’ve decided to stick to my original plan. I’m not a doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional. I can’t help anybody in that way. What I hope I can do, is offer some comfort, inspiration and cheer through my words, pictures and knitting. A breath of fresh air for everybody cooped up at home and something different for worried minds to focus on.

Would you like to join me on a short virtual tour of ‘our’ wetland?

We have the great good fortune to live close to two National Parks. To the North-East there’s a large area of woodland and heath. (For my regular readers: that’s where the flocks of sheep live.) And to the South-West there’s a wetland area.

This is, in fact, the largest lowland bog in Northwest Europe. It is ideal for cycling – there are miles of bicycle tracks and meandering narrow roads.

At this time of year, this open landscape can be rather bleak, with chilly winds. But one cloudy and windy day, about a fortnight ago, I braved the elements and took some photographs.

In summer the area is overrun by tourists from all over the world. Normally there would be some shivery visitors around taking selfies even in March, but now, with Covid-19 forcing them to stay at home, it is deserted.

The canoes and the soundless ‘whisperboats’ are waiting for busier times.

I could tell you about the picturesque villages, the crocheted curtains behind many windows, the various types of windmills, or the birds, flowers and butterflies, but I’m keeping all that for later. Today, I’ll focus on the landscape, and especially on reed.

Apart from lakes, canals and wet grasslands, there are extensive reedlands, often right behind the houses.

Mowing takes place in winter, and in March much of the reed has already been mown (right half of photo below). The rest will follow soon or is left as it is for the birds and other wildlife.

A statue in one of the villages shows a traditional reed worker taking a break.

Nowadays, the work is done with modern motor mowers. Then the reed is tied into bundles and stacked along a waterway…

… or in the corner of a field and covered with plastic sheeting…

… to be collected with a tractor and trailer or transported over water on a flat boat:

Not surprisingly, many houses around here have reed roofs. The oldest thatched houses are very small – tiny houses avant la lettre.

Most of these are now rented out as holiday cottages. On the outside they look exactly like they did 100 years ago, and they do still have an original bedstee (a bed inside a sort of cupboard), but otherwise they have all mod cons.

There are also some fairly modest new houses with reed roofs…

… as well as more luxurious ones:

Although I’m happy with our own house, and wouldn’t want to move at all, I always love looking at other people’s houses, especially if they’re as lovely as these.

I did say that I wouldn’t talk about birds today, but I just have to show you these storks I saw on a nest:

Many people around here provide storks with nesting places in the form of wagon wheels placed on high poles, or on a dead tree as here.

Just as I was heading home, the sun peeked out from behind the clouds. Standing in the nippy wind, looking out over the shimmering water surface, with a couple of graylag geese in the foreground, a cormorant primping its feathers a little further away, and the sound of other water birds in the distance… a moment of bliss.

One of the inhabitants of this reedland (not in this photo) formed the inspiration for my new knitting pattern. I’m busy finishing everything and hope to tell you more about it soon. For now, take care and stay well!

Oh, and if you’d like to read more about this National Park, do visit the official website.

Happy 2020!

Hello again! 2020 has well and truly started. Maybe it is ‘officially’ too late for New Year’s wishes, but, really, can it ever be too late for good wishes? So, I wish you a very happy, healthy and fulfilling New Year!

In my last blog post of 2019, I asked myself some questions. I would have liked to start this year with some answers, but I haven’t organized my thoughts enough for that. And I am not ready to write about the things I have been knitting either, so I thought I’d ease into the New Year with an impression of our visit to the Dutch Open Air Museum during the Christmas Holiday (focusing on knitting and other fibre-related things, of course).

Houses, farms and other buildings from different periods and from all over the country have been moved to the museum over the past 108 (!) years. The first building we entered was this blue farmhouse from the east of the Netherlands:

The museum’s theme at this time of year was ‘Winter Jobs’. When there wasn’t a lot of work to do outside in winter, people did all kinds of other jobs. In this particular farmhouse the focus was on spinning (wool and flax) and knitting. There was a display of flax in different stages…

…from unspun fibres in different qualities to woven linen, from coarse and brown (right) to very fine and bleached (left).

One of the volunteers, dressed in period costume, was spinning flax on a traditional spinning wheel.

She showed us how long flax fibres are – much longer than any wool fibres.

Before flax can be spun and woven into linen cloth, it goes through many stages. The last stage before spinning is hackling. With a hackle like this one…

… the short fibres are removed from the long ones.

All this preparation before flax can even be spun! And then hours and hours of spinning and weaving. No wonder a woman’s linen cupboard was her pride and joy.

I could have spent an entire afternoon in this farmhouse alone, and if the museum wasn’t so far from where we live, I’d love to work here as a volunteer. But there was more to see, so on we went.

We saw several iconic Dutch windmills, of course, like the thatched one at the top of this post, used for pumping water, in order to drain wet low-lying areas, and this wood-sawing mill:

One of the parts of the museum I remember best from when I visited here as a child is this collection of green wooden houses from the Northwest of the country.

We were not the only ones who had this great idea of visiting the museum. In fact, it was one of the busiest days of the year.

I was dismayed when I saw the crowds at the entrance, but the park is so big that it could easily absorb us all.

The weaving shed was closed, but I peeked in through the window…

… and later bought two of the weavers’ lovely checked tea towels in the shop. This is one of them with some of the wafers I always bake on New Year’s Eve:

They are called ‘knieperties’ and are very thin, slightly sweet and have a hint of cinnamon.

Uh-oh, this is becoming quite a long blog post. I intended to make them shorter this year, but somehow there is always so much to tell. I hope you have a few minutes more.

Let’s hurry on to the cottage dedicated to knitting in World War I. On one wall there was a display of newspaper cuttings with articles urging women and girls to knit for our soldiers.

They were asked to knit scarves, mittens, socks (preferably dark grey) and balaclavas. The photograph on the left shows a group of soldiers wearing knitted balaclavas. And here is one in progress:

At the end of the afternoon we walked back to the blue farmhouse. The volunteer who sat there spinning earlier, was now knitting. She was knitting a sock in exactly the same way my mother and grandmother did and how I was taught to knit them.

Nowadays, I use a set of five short lightweight sock needles, with the stitches distributed over four and knitting with the fifth. But here you can see how it used to be done. Only four needles (long steel ones) are used, with the stitches on three needles and the knitting done with the fourth.

At this time of the day it was much quieter in the farmhouse and the volunteer had time for a nice chat about spinning and knitting. (It’s always so nice to chat with kindred spirits!)

She also showed me something I had never seen in action before – a knitting sheath. It’s a wooden stick with a hole in it, tucked into the knitter’s waistband. It was rather dark inside the house, so I hope you can see it:

The knitting sheath supports the working needle, carries the weight of the knitting, protects the knitter’s clothes from the sharp needle point and speeds up the knitting. Very interesting. I’d like to try that someday.

Well, that’s all for today. I hope to be back with a post about my own knitting soon.

For more information about the Dutch Open Air Museum, please visit their website. There is much, much more to see than I’ve shown you here.

Pre-Christmas Mulling, Baking and Making

Hello! It’s good to see you here. I hope your life is not too frantic in the run-up to Christmas.

There’s quite a bit of pre-holiday preparation going on here. And some knitting, too. And some mulling, not just of wine, but also in the sense of pondering. But before I get to that, I’d like to take you on a mini-trip to the castle in the picture at the top of this post – Middachten Castle. It’s a private property that only opens on special occasions. The Christmas opening is one of these occasions and we visited it last weekend.

Although the castle has medieval roots, the current building dates from the 17th Century. There’s a moat all around it and a bridge leading to the front door. Or, rather doors. The two glossy dark green doors were decorated with beautiful wreaths flanked by other greenery.

Unfortunately photography wasn’t allowed inside, so you’ll have to take my word for it that the Christmas trees and flower arrangements were amazing. There was at least one Christmas tree in every room and the decorations were themed to the rooms. There were bunches of cigars in the tree in the smoking room, orchids sprouting from books and Christmas ornaments made from printed pages in the library and so on.

There was a Christmas market outside and in the outbuildings…

… but looking through my photographs, I see that I was more drawn to the quiet corners…

… and architectural elements.

We ended our lovely visit with a shared bowl of barbecued mushrooms and tiny potatoes and some piping hot mulled wine.

Our preparations here, at our own modest abode, are far less elaborate than those at the castle, I’m glad to say.

Taking the Christmas tree decorations out of their box is always a special moment. I put on some music first, to get into the mood. This time it was A Christmas Together, starring John Denver and the Muppets, with The Christmas Wish as one of my favourites. It always really moves me when Kermit sings in his funny voice:

I don’t know if you believe in Christmas,
or if you have presents underneath the Christmas tree.
But if you believe in love, that will be more than enough
for you to come and celebrate with me.

Well, back to decorating, here’s one of my oldest ornaments:

With a little more time on my hands than in the past few years, I also did some baking. I looked up an old recipe for Basler Leckerlis, a kind of gingerbread from Switzerland made with honey, candied and fresh citrus peel, ground almonds, spices and Kirsch liqueur.

After baking, the leckerlis are iced with a mixture of icing sugar and more Kirsch. The heavenly warm, spicy aroma alone is worth the effort. Here they are cooling on a wire rack.

A while ago, someone said that my blog exudes a feeling of contentment – that I must be a very contented person. Scrolling through the blog posts I’ve written in the past year, I can see why people might get that impression. But contented is far from how I feel. I do feel grateful. But also worried.

With everything that’s going on in the world around us, I sometimes feel like pulling up the drawbridge, closing the shutters, and withdrawing into my castle, figuratively speaking. But then again, I don’t think that is the answer to anything.

While I’m knitting, I’m mulling over better answers. Pondering on how to make this world a better place. And on the place of knitting, and blogging about knitting, in it. So far, I’ve mainly come up with question marks. Where am I going with my knitting and my blog? Should I be going anywhere with my knitting and my blog? Shouldn’t I be doing something more important or useful? Should I go into politics? Answer to the last one: No, I’d be totally useless as a politician. I’ll ponder on the rest for a little longer.

Meanwhile, I just keep knitting.

I’m knitting a pair of fingerless mittens for a gift. They have a lovely little cable with tiny nupps (an Estonian term for delicate bobbles).

I can show them here because the recipient already knows that I’m making them. She chose the yarn and the pattern herself, in fact.

I’m also still knitting the blue cardigan I’ve been working on for quite a while. I had almost finished the second sleeve when I realized that I wouldn’t have enough yarn for the neck band and the pocket tops. Pinning the parts together to find out what could be done, I saw that the sleeves were on the long side and unravelled them to a few centimetres below the sleeve cap (not much fun with this sticky yarn, I can tell you). The one on the left is now re-knit, and I’ll soon be able to finish the rest.

When I’m stuck on a knitting project, like with the sleeves above, I get out what I call my in-between-projects-project – a large stole.

I add a few rows or even an entire stripe to it when I have no inspiration for other things. But now I’m stuck on that too, because I’m not entirely happy with the last two colours I’ve added. I think I may rip them out and substitute them for different colours, but I’m not sure yet.

In between all this knitting and baking, I also made some beeswax candles. I’ll come back to those when I’ve experimented more and can find the time to write up a post about them.

These at least literally make life a little lighter.

And finally, I’m knitting some swatches for a new design idea I have. If it works out the way I envision it, I’ll show you more sometime in the New Year.

Well, this is my last blog post for 2019. I’m taking some time off to eat, drink and be merry first. And then some time to knit, read, take naps and go for walks, so it may be a while before I’m back.

I wish you a lovely Christmas and hope to see you here again in 2020!